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Boffins develop OLED screen life extender

New film dramatically reduces oxygen penetration

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A Singapore research firm has invented a plastic film that it claims boosts the durability of OLED displays by reducing the penetration of oxygen and water - both which can shorten a screen’s lifespan.

OLED screens are a sandwich of different components, but the top layer is a protective coating that limits the number of oxygen and water molecules than can seep through and react with the display's colour-producing chemicals. This protective layer can degrade over time, causing the screen’s ability to display specific colours to deteriorate.

The A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) claims its protective film is 1000 times more impervious to moisture than existing coatings. IMRE said that the film has a moisture barrier performance that’s higher than one millionth of a gram per square meter per day, whereas existing films protect at around one thousandth of a gram per square meter per day.

OLED_film

IMRE's film: makes for longer living OLED displays?

Senthil Ramadas, principal investigator of the project at IMRE, said that OLED displays treated with the film will have a longer life expectancy as a result. “Manufacturers now have the opportunity to extend the lifetime of plastic electronic devices by leaps and bounds,” he claimed.

The film could also be used to protect solar panels, such as those used to generate power for homes, by preventing oxygen and water molecules from damaging the cells’ ability to produce useable electricity.

The film could be handy for protecting lots of OLED-based gadgets, ranging from Sony’s XEL-1 OLED TV to Nokia’s 6600 Fold.

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